Monday, June 20, 2016

Which GOP Senators Have Received Cash From the N.R.A in 2016?

2016 N.R.A donations to GOP Senators
Despite political maneuvering to try and respond to public pressure for a Congressional response to gun violence, the Senate failed to reach consensus on four different gun control measures today.

Republicans blocked two Democratic-backed proposals that would have put into place mandatory universal background checks, and one that would prevent anyone on the terrorism watch list from purchasing a gun.

Democrats blocked two Republican-backed compromise measures that were considered "lip service" legislation without real teeth.

Of the last 100 different gun control measures introduced into Congress, none have passed.

Shocking considering that since the 911 attacks in 2001, more than 400,000 Americans have been killed by guns in the U.S. - more than all the American service men and women killed in World War II.

So why is it so hard to get Congress to pass sensible gun control legislation?

It's instructive to see a list (see above) of which Republican Senators have taken donations from the National Rifle Association in 2016 and how much they've received.

Now by no means is it illegal or necessarily wrong for a Senator to accept campaign contributions from the N.R.A, in fact there are some Democrats who've accepted money from the gun lobby too.

Take a look at this Google Docs spreadsheet that lists N.R.A contributions for the members of the Senate and House provided through the Website - just scan down and look at the big five-figure donations, all given to Republicans.

N.R.A-friendly - (R) Sen John McCain
But given the public pressure generated by Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy's recent filibuster (along with the help of New Jersey Senators Corey Booker and Robert Menendez and others) to call attention to the fact that until today Republican leaders wouldn't even allow a bill to the floor to even be discussed or voted on, understanding who is receiving money from the NRA offers valuable perspective and transparency on the political process.

Especially given that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of Congress enacting gun control measures.

As some of you may know, Republican Arizona Senator John McCain is currently facing one of the most difficult re-election campaigns of his political life, interesting to note that the N.R.A has donated $7.7 million to his campaign since January of this year.

No need to guess how he's going to vote when gun control measures come to the floor.

When it comes down to it, the N.R.A is basically paying Senators to block gun control legislation from being passed and signed into law.

Given the thousands of lives lost to gun violence in this nation this year alone, that's a pretty sad example of the Democratic process being usurped by cash.

It's a sad testament to the Republican party's ongoing effort to use their numerical majorities in the Senate and House to shackle the government's ability to work on behalf of the American people.

Sure there were Democratic senators who voted against some of the Democratic-backed measures today, as The reported, North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp was the lone Democrat to vote against Senator Diane Feinstein's proposal to block people on the terrorist watchlist from buying guns or explosives - think about that, how do you vote AGAINST a measure to keep guns and explosives out of the hands of suspected terrorists?

But it's Republicans who control the legislative branch of the American government.

Summer begins tomorrow, and as the latest statistics from show, there have been 24,472 incidents involving guns in America this year, including 145 mass shootings and 6,278 people killed and the response from Congress is the same it's been for years.

Do nothing.

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